22:00 Citrus plants make attractive shrubs particularly suitable for a sunroom. This cross between a tangerine and a kumquat—also known under the name of x Citrofortunella mitis—is one of the best to grow indoors, since it makes a compact tree that bears flowers and fruits while still young.
The glossy, dark green, oval leaves are aromatic when crushed and are carried on woody branches that, unlike those of many other species of citrus, are spineless. White, star-shaped, fragrant flowers are borne mainly in summer but may appear sporadically at any time of year. They are followed by small round fruits, carried in clusters of two or three at the tips of the branches, which tend to bend the stems down as they develop. The fruits ripen slowly, changing from deep green to orange, and measure about lV2in/4cm in diameter; they are decorative and, although very bitter, are sometimes used in jams. Flowers and fruits are often seen on the tree at the same time, adding to its interest. Yellowing or mottled leaves may indicate nutrient deficiency. Apply a foliar feed containing trace elements. To ensure fruiting, if the plant is indoors, pollinate the flowers with a soft brush. Pollination is improved by standing the plant outdoors in summer. Scale insects can be a problem. Check the undersides of the leaves, pushing off any scales with a fingernail. Attack by red spider mites can be combated by misting to increase humidity and by standing the pot on moist gravel. FACT FILE
HEIGHT To 4ft/1.2m.
POTTING MIX Soil-based.
REPOTTING Move the plant into a pot one size larger every spring until the maximum convenient size is reached; thereafter top-dress annually. PROPAGATION Difficult; by semiripe cuttings in early summer.
KEEPING PLANTS Stand outdoors in a sheltered place in summer; bring under cover in late fall.
ClTROFORTUNELLA X MICROCARPUS Rutaceae CALAMONDIN PLANT CARE
- Bright light with several hours of direct sun daily. Minimum winter temperature of 50°F/10°C.
- Allow the surface of the soil to dry out between waterings.
- Mist the foliage frequently and stand the pot on a tray of moist gravel to increase humidity.
- Give a high-potash liquid feed every 10-14 days in the growing season.